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Inspired by life on Hydra island June 25, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Exhibitions Greece.

Retrospective on veteran master Panayiotis Tetsis captures artist’s expressive perception of Hydra island

The Tetsis exhibition at the historical Pavlos Koundouriotis Mansion on Hydra opened last week on the artist’s 82nd birthday. Open until September 15, it brings together both older and newer works by Tetsis that belong to collections.

Once, talking about his work, artist Panayiotis Tetsis said he wanted to express his homeland, the place where he had grown up, adding that all these years his eyes have been seeing the light that falls on Greece. No other words could give a better description of his series of works currently on display at the historical Pavlos Koundouriotis Mansion on Hydra. The exhibition opened last Friday, the day that Tetsis turned 82, in a festive setting and the presence of his friends.

For Tetsis, Hydra means much more than his own works. The island encapsulates his love for young artists, whom he used to welcome as an excellent host with homemade chickpea soup at the School of Fine Arts branch in the port, long walks by the wintry sea, traditional sweets, and bouquets made of rosemary and lemon-tree leaves, which Tetsis makes for his guests.

This affection is expressed in his work, whose content includes boats, capes and houses. The artist’s paintings, which adorn the mansion’s impressively crafted stone walls, are like snapshots of life on the island.

“Every now and then, the dangers that threaten Hydra do grow. Somebody wants to construct hotel facilities, uproot trees, and spoil the purity that’s been preserved, with difficulty, until today,” Tetsis said at the exhibition’s opening. “Nevertheless, concern for its preservation remains. But, for how much longer? This is the question that torments me,” he continued.

The exhibition’s opening was attended by younger-generation artists who consider Tetsis to be somewhat of a spiritual father. Apparently touched, Michalis Madenis stood proudly in one corner. The master offered words of love for Stefanos Daskalakis’s most recent show. Maria Filopoulou, Dafni Angelidou and Irini Iliopoulou stood at the seasoned artist’s side. Upright, in good spirits, and sincerely humble, Tetsis resembled a patriarchal figure of Greek art, with a warm embrace for all.

The exhibition, which runs through September 15, brings together both older and newer works by Tetsis. Combined, they present the profile of a significant artist with a penchant for color. His brush depicts the deep green of cypress trees, the sea’s dark fury and the fullness of the summer sun.

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